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Match Reports

Match Report: Macclesfield Town 1 v 1 Mansfield Town

25 August 2018

Harry Smith’s first goal for Macclesfield Town helped the Silkmen follow Tuesday night’s draw with another point at Moss Rose.

The 6ft 5in striker saw his initial effort blocked after connecting with Malachi Napa’s cross, but reacted well to lean back and slot the ball straight into the bottom corner from the rebound.

This left-footed strike by Smith, who was eventually nominated the Macclesfield Town Man of the Match, came in a second-half where Macc were arguably the better side.

The goal cancelled out Mal Benning’s 32ndminute opener for The Stags. The ever-dangerous Otis Kahn crossed to the 24-year-old at the back post who rose to head past Kieran O’Hara. 

The game’s first shot on target came just four minutes before Benning’s goal. A Stags corner was headed away to Alex MacDonald on the edge of the area who worked himself some space, but O’Hara got down well to make a save.

After O’Hara’s first test, Mansfield seemed to step up their game, with Craig Davies heading into the gloves of the Manchester United loanee moments before going one-up.

The Silkmen seemed to be the nearly-men for the majority of the first half, sending crosses into the Mansfield area that were often inches away from their target man.

However, when Smith and Danny Whitaker managed to get on the end of two promising Pearson crosses either side of Benning’s finish, neither could challenge Robert Olejnik in the Mansfield goal.

The Stags went into the half-time interval as the more dominant side, resulting in Mark Yates throwing a trio of new faces onto the field before the match got back underway.

Callum Evans, Callum Maycock and Napa replaced Keith Lowe, Koby Arthur and Scott Wilson. 

Despite CJ Hamilton and Otis Khan both coming close with curling efforts for the visitors soon after the break, Macc settled well and started to play promising football with Napa and Smith on the end of half-chances.

The game suddenly opened up, as Bennings and Tyler Walker squandered great chances for Mansfield on the break, before Smith missed the target after Napa’s pull back, shooting over the bar on the hour mark.

Smith then recovered from the miss with admirable speed to confidently tuck away the equaliser, which spurred on Yates’ men into looking for a winner.

Fiacre Kelleher could only nod wide from Whitaker’s free-kick in the 67th minute, and Smith’s looping header was inches from the top corner moments later.

With just over 15 minutes left on the clock, Whitaker’s corner fell to Maycock who missed the target from 25-yards out. 

Walker then tried a long-range effort of his own for The Stags five minutes later, driving towards the penalty area before shooting low past O’Hara’s left upright.

Macc then had a good chance to win it in injury time, as Napa collected the ball in his own half and sprinted down the right to feed Smith, who could only force a corner.

Pressure from the Silkmen late on was not enough to muster a win, but a point seemed to be the fair result for both teams come the final whistle.

Macclesfield Town: O’Hara, Lowe (Evans 45’), Kelleher, Grimes, Pearson, Whitaker, Arthur (Maycock 45’), Fitzpatrick, Wilson (Malachi Napa 45’), Blissett, Smith.

Unused Subs: Marsh, Taylor, Welch-Hayes, Vincenti.

Mansfield Town: Olejnik, Gibbons, Pearce, Sweeney, Hamilton, MacDonald (Mellis 71’), Khan (Sterling-James 77’), Bishop, Benning, Davies (Rose 62’), Walker.

Unused subs: Logan, Atkinson, Butcher, Graham.

By Matt Bates

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